The annual seroconversion of fawns, yearlings, and adult white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) to Jamestown Canyon virus (California group) was followed at six Indiana sites from 1981 through 1984. In all, sera from 1,642 deer (515 fawns, 618 yearlings, and 509 adults) were tested for neutralizing antibody to three California serogroup viruses: Jamestown Canyon, La Crosse, and trivittatus. Virtually all deer with specific neutralizing antibody showed evidence of a prior infection with Jamestown Canyon virus; only three deer showed evidence of a prior infection with only La Crosse virus and none showed evidence of an infection with only trivittatus virus. While there were no significant differences in antibody prevalence to Jamestown Canyon virus between yearling and adult deer at any site, fawns had significantly lower antibody prevalences than either of the two older age groups. Significant differences in antibody prevalence were found between northern versus southern populations of white-tailed deer in Indiana, however, no significant differences were found among the four northern populations or between the two southern populations. The mean antibody prevalences in the two southern fawn, yearling, and adult populations were 15%, 38%, and 41% respectively, while the prevalences in the four northern fawn, yearling, and adult populations were 5%, 67%, and 67% respectively. These different prevalences (northern vs. southern) correlate with the higher Jamestown Canyon virus antibody prevalence in human residents of northern Indiana (2–15%) compared to residents of southern Indiana (<2%) found in other studies. The significantly lower prevalence of antibody to Jamestown Canyon virus in fawns is attributed to maternal antibody protecting them from a primary infection their first summer. Yearling deer showed high rates of seroconversion following their second summer of life. These results suggest that infection of white-tailed deer in Indiana with Jamestown Canyon virus is a common phenomenon.

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